Today Starbucks opened in my neighborhood!! What would be a run of the mill occurrence and any other neighborhood in the city, holds special significance for mine, especially amid COVID-19. Businesses are closing across the country. The pandemic has provided the perfect excuse for many to turn inward, choosing not to invest in people or places that have been historically marginalized. That’s why even the pouring rain didn’t stop me from grabbing my morning cup and showing some love to my new neighbor on their first official day in OUR neighborhood.
One of only 16 Community Starbucks in the nation, my new Starbucks is a concept aimed at boosting local economic development, and the first of the chain’s stores in the District located east of the Anacostia River. Looking at the small store, on the corner of MLK and Maple View Pl SE, some may see another coffee shop, but I see so much more. I see a sign, showing the world my neighborhood is open for quality of life enriching, community focused, investment. I see a pathway, that will provide new and needed opportunities to my neighbors. I see an eraser, slowly but surely removing the deeply etched redline that has for too long defined our neighborhood.
I’m hopeful for all the things that Starbucks will bring to our neighborhood, the least of which is a Pumpkin Spice latte.